The London Stationery Show is a trade show that takes place every year during National Stationery Week. It is also now one of my favourite events. I’ve heard about the event before but never got to experience it myself. This year, however, I went to the show for the first time as a member of the press. And honestly? It was amazing! The event itself was over a month ago but I still grin just thinking about it! In fact, I am still working my way through all of the ideas it gave me for my blog so watch this space, there’s definitely a lot more posts to come.
I love stationery – obviously – but I honestly did wonder if I needed to spend two whole days at the show. I foolishly thought I would cover everything I wanted to see in a day, maybe even less. However, it pleases me to say that I was wrong – very wrong. Even the full two days wasn’t enough! There was so much to see or do, it was brilliant. As it’s a trade show, it’s not open to the public so I thought I would share a little today with you.
There were tons of exhibitors showing off their new collections and products, lots of workshops and even seminars happening all day. The picture below was taken from the gallery level. You can’t see everything from this angle but it gives you a rough idea of how big the venue was and just how many stands there were to see. There’s actually stands on the gallery floor, as well as the bottom ones (and even more underneath me that the camera wasn’t able to capture). The workshops and seminars also took place here.
The Exhibitors –
The amount of stands exhibiting at the show was fantastic. The photo gives you a glimpse into it – the lime green borders show you were the stands are. Everywhere you looked, there were exhibitors. It was pretty much stationery heaven. I found out about several new brands that I hadn’t heard of before, which I think is really exciting. I love uncovering new places to shop at. What was also exciting was that a lot of companies, including some I love, launched their new product ranges. In fact, I currently have a huge range of products to try out now and my wishlist is probably longer than ever before! There’s a lot of amazing products that I haven’t had the pleasure of trying – and I’ve got a few of them in my cupboard now, ready to try and share with you, which I’m really excited about.
A few of these exhibitors kindly gave me some samples or got in touch with me after the show so I’ll be able to show you some of the brilliant products soon. If you follow me on Instagram though, you’ll see some of the pictures from the show (if you scroll back enough!) as well as a whole bunch that I still have to share with you. I’ll also be featuring the samples over there too! Honestly, there’s so many great products to share that it’s probably better to put them in separate posts!
A few of the exhibitors I met…
Over the two days, I spoke to so many people. I got people I met to sign their name or write a little message on these foiled cards. However, sadly, I forgot to ask most of the people to do this! I would remember after I had already left. So this isn’t everyone I spoke to. It does, however, give you a sneak peek into what I was up to and who I met! (Hint: there may also be some blog posts coming up related to some of the above companies!) I genuinely had so much fun talking to people who understood the stationery addiction and were equally as obsessed. Next time, I’ll have to try and remember to get everyone to leave a message!
The Workshops –
Honestly, I could easily have spent a whole day just sitting at the craft tables and attending the workshops. There were two tables in the middle of the room for the workshops. They started at around 10 am and continued constantly throughout the day, until around 3:30pm. With approximately ten workshops happening at each table, there was plenty of choice. I managed to catch three of them – but definitely missed out on a few that I would have loved to attend.
The variety of workshops that were available was great. Everything from calligraphy to bunting! I’m sure there was something for everyone. The three I went to where all quite different too. One experimented with brilliant decorate foils & plastics. These foils and plastics were from Chamberlain Plastics – who kindly gave me some more samples to play around with at home! My plan is to make some cards with them so let’s see how that goes! Another was about decorating and playing around with the new Busy Days Planner, which is a new UK based planner. The last was upcycling door knobs using Acrylista from Kuretake. I’ll be honest, my own attempt at doing this was pretty poor. I don’t think anyone would want to use my finished product as a door knob but it was still really fun. Some of the other people came up with brilliant designs! And I was really surprised at the results of those pens, which worked well even on wood. I’ll have to get my hands on some to try them out properly, I think.
The Seminars –
Like the workshops, the seminars ran all day too. Again this was in two different locations. With approximately four seminars happening in each theatre on both days, there was something for everyone. I caught two of them, which I really enjoyed. One was about using social media, which was given by fellow blogger, Mummy Barrow. I loved seeing bloggers giving seminars. Giving bloggers a platform shows how respected they are in the trade – and how vital they are too. I love the businesses who recognise the advantages of working with bloggers or who approach me first. Those sorts of places are the ones I love working with.
The other seminar was an amazing one by Phil Pond at Scarlet Opus about trends to prepare for in 2018. It was really interesting to hear from an expert trend translator about the trends that will affect the stationery industry. I don’t know how many of his predictions will come true but I’m really curious to see if they do! There were also a few trends he mentioned that were things that I love. So if they do come true, I’ll be really excited to see all of the fancy new stationery!
Getting the most out of the show –
Honesty, I cannot even begin to express how much I got out of the show. The buzz in the room was truly inspirational. It fueled so many ideas. At one point, I had to sit down in the cafe, grab my notebook and start writing down ideas for future blog posts or products I wanted to buy because I had so many ideas flying around my head. If you’re looking for inspiration, it’s definitely a great place to go.
At the same time, however, there is so much going on that it can be overwhelming. If you are planning to visit the next show, plan in advance! I didn’t know what to expect when I went – as I had never been before and couldn’t find many blog posts explaining it (which is why I thought of writing one!). I did a bit of research on the main London Stationery Show website and followed the hashtag on social media. Doing that really helped me. I had a rough idea of exhibitors that were present on the day and wrote down a list of ones I knew I had to visit. These were mostly brands I knew, loved or ones I had seen on social media that had caught my eye.
The workshop and seminars list was also sent out prior to the event. When I got that email, I spent a few minutes looking at the lists and highlighting the ones that looked interesting to me. This helped me to plan my day in advance and catch some great workshops & seminars.
If you’re interested in getting some more tips or seeing what I would suggest you bring on the day, let me know and I’ll do another post on it!
Coming soon –
In other exciting news… The team who organised the London Stationery Show have also announced that they are hosting one in Manchester this year! It will be on the 31st October – 1st November. Registration hasn’t opened for the event yet but be sure to check back to find out more later in the year. You can find out more information about both the Manchester & the London Stationery Show here.
In the meantime, be sure to check out this website: National Stationery Week. This week is dedicated to everyone who loves stationery. It’s a great week to get involved in and there’s always lots happening on social media. You may also be able to find some local events in honour of it. Join their mailing list for updates!